Living well is not a privilege but a right for everyone. However, with the flow of everyday life, we can hardly make time for ourselves and for our well-being let alone treating our body, mind and soul the way they deserve. Kicking off in Turkey in 2012, Global Wellness Day is an event dedicated to clean living. It is an opportunity for people who want to focus on improving life quality, to share their knowledge and raise awareness of their pursuits in adopting new, healthier habits.
Although it is now a world-renowned event celebrated on the second week of June annually, it did not start as such. The success of Global Wellness Day belongs to one woman, and her team, who believe "you can change your life in a day."
How it all began
Although "wellness" is a trend right now, back in 2012, it was not a priority in most people's lives. However, Belgin Aksoy, the founder of Global Wellness Day, took the inspiration from her own journey to a healthier life.
"I went through serious health problems back in 2004," said Aksoy, recalling the time she decided to gift this day dedicated to good living. "As I battled to regain my health back, I learned a new thing each day. I understood that health and happiness should be in balance for a better life. Once I saw the positive effects of this approach, I could not sit and do nothing: I had to do something and let people know its importance."
Aksoy knew how important wellness is but it shocked her to learn that there is no special day dedicated to wellness in the world. Hence, she rolled up her sleeves to make wellness a top topic in the world and introduce Global Wellness Day not only in Turkey but globally.
Aiming to raise awareness on how to live well, Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of June. The target of this very special day is to appreciate life and cleanse from the chaos of everyday life and chores for a day.
At first, Global Wellness Day was celebrated only in Turkey but after two years, it became a day that is recognized by the United Nations and celebrated in more than 150 countries in seven continents.
Offering insight on how she turned Wellness Day to a global event to Daily Sabah, Aksoy said, "In 2014, we invited the American press to join our events on Wellness Day. After that, our event began to appear on international media and soon after it became a global sensation. However, we also got in touch people in the wellness industry from all over the world. After we were approved by the entire commission at the Global Spa and Wellness Summit in 2014, Global Wellness Day began to be featured in the events calendar of more than 50 countries."
What makes Global Wellness Day stand out among other wellness events is that Aksoy's initiative does not pursue a commercial goal. It is free of charge and open to everybody from around the world. There are a total of 87 Global Wellness Day ambassadors and 25 main sponsors which work hard to come up with new projects and make this day known to as many people as possible.
This year, Global Wellness Day will be at Kuşadası, Aydın in western Turkey. Global Wellness Day 2019 is set to be celebrated on June 8 but this year bears surprises for its participants. As a part of the event a marathon is scheduled to start from the ancient city of Ephesus on June 6 and arrive at Kuşadası after three stages. The marathon, which will include Turkish actress Ahsen Eroğlu, athletes İpek Onaran, Fatih Topçu, Atlet Neval Gördük and paralympic athlete Burak Abacıoğlu, aims to raise awareness about Global Wellness Day and show this event as Turkey's accomplishment and gift to the world. The marathon is also open to the public and admission is free of charge.
On June 8, the events for Global Wellness Day will kick off at Sevgi Beach in Kuşadası. The day will start with yoga sessions with Gem Akcan and continue with activities including "Sports with Children," "Body Boost," and "Zumba Dance." Also during the day, children will enjoy a kite workshop and a painting exhibition.
At the end of the day, participants will have time to enjoy a live performance by Kaan Öztürk.
What is wellness?
"Above anything, wellness is not a luxury but a natural right for all human beings," said Belgin Aksoy, the founder of Global Wellness Day. "For me, wellness is a whole. It is a state of well-being physically, mentally and emotionally with good habits that we adapt starting from our childhood. It is also an individual journey to discover one's self and find the perfect balance both in body and soul."
Aksoy also said that wellness is directly related one's quality of life. "Wellness is a concept that mirrors itself in our appearance even on the relationships we form with other people. Wellness is self-responsibility and not letting other people decide for you," Aksoy added.